James Thompson (right) stopped Mariusz Pudzianowski at KSW 16. | Photo: Jumana Totongi/Sherdog.com
GDANSK, Poland -- Although the chorus of Mariusz Pudzianowski's walkout song promised that “you will feel respect,” James Thompson did not take those lyrics to heart, submitting an exhausted Pudzianowski in front of a partisan Ergo Arena crowd at Konfrontacja Sztuk Walki 16.
Tested early on by the immense strength of the Pole, “Colossus” was thrown to the ground before quickly regaining his composure. Later in the first round, Pudzianowski unleashed a flurry on the backpedaling Brit, but he could not find Thompson's chin and inevitably gassed himself out. By the three-minute mark, the former strongman looked exhausted. After Thompson took him to the mat late in the period, Pudzianowski expended what little remained of his stamina while attempting to escape Thompson's mount.
The break between rounds did little to lessen Pudzianowski's fatigue. The Pole was promptly taken down to start the second frame, and Thompson pounded away until he spotted an arm-triangle opportunity. Exactly one year after suffering his first pro loss to Tim Sylvia, the former five-time “World's Strongest Man” tasted MMA defeat for the second time on Saturday night.
“I tried. I failed. I apologize to you,” said the exhausted and dismayed Pudzianowski. “I'm sure I will be disappointed, but I will go forward.”
In the evening's main event, hometown favorite Mamed Khalidov put UFC veteran Matt Lindland to sleep with an arm-in guillotine early in the first round.
Khalidov never missed a step in the short fight and took it to the American from the get-go. After the fight hit the floor, Khalidov missed a leg lock attempt, and the Greco-Roman specialist left his neck exposed while regaining his base. The Pole seized the opportunity, jumping guard and cinching up a tight arm-in guillotine. Lindland struggled briefly, but “The Law” soon lost consciousness, his body falling limp atop his victorious foe.
“This is all muscle memory from the training sessions,” said Khalidov of his extravagant finishing technique. “We're all ready [to fight top opponents] here in KSW, in Poland.”
After suffering a humbling defeat to Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou at KSW 15 in March, light heavyweight Jan Blachowicz absolutely dominated Toni Valtonen on Saturday night, submitting the Finn with a rear-naked choke in round two.
Apart from a minute or so in round one when he managed to gain top position inside Blachowicz's guard, Valtonen was on the defensive for the bout's six-minute duration. Blachowicz made the most of his tight back control when Valtonen continually gave up the position, and after successfully mixing in heavy strikes with choke attempts, Blachowicz found the window for a fight-ending rear-naked choke at 1:22 into the second period.
In his third KSW outing, James Zikic finally took a misstep in the Polish promotion, as the Brit suffered his first KSW defeat at the hands of Michal Materla. The 26-year-old Pole fared surprisingly well in the stand-up and made the best of his takedown attempts, cracking Zikic early in the second frame with a left hook before riding out a unanimous decision from top position.
Artur Sowinski showed off his well-rounded skills in a victorious effort against Cengiz Dana. Sowinski executed some crisp striking in the first round and threatened in the second with two armbars and a neck crank en route to a unanimous nod. Though Sowinski landed a brutal knee to the German's groin late in round two, Dana valiantly finished the fight.
Attila Vegh survived a knockdown from Grigor Aschugbabjan before dispatching the Armenian early in the second round with strikes. Though Aschugbabjan waved to the referee, complaining that he was poked in the eye, the referee ruled the strikes to be legal and awarded Vegh his TKO.
Sergey Shemetov had Marcin Rozalski in all sorts of trouble early in round one, but the Russian injured his arm while throwing an overhand right and was forced to retire barely two minutes into the evening's first contest.